I haven't found Answers to be a good place to gain knowledge, but I never expected to find it in a place where 99% of the people are blindly typing out their preconceived notions and thumbs-downing all the answers that aren't in line with what they think. I'd love to engage more people...but this isn't a forum system where that's really possible. So, ultimately, I'm not here to argue. I'm not here to insult. I'm not here to enlighten. I'm just here. Like the guys in "Mallrats." Some links I like regarding what are atheists are really like, versus the perception or beliefs about atheists: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-do-americans-still-dislike-atheists/2011/02/18/AFqgnwGF_story.html http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/UsefulNotes/Atheism http://www.soc.umn.edu/~hartmann/files/atheist%20as%20the%20other.pdf Shameless plug: Visit my blog at http://www.jtrusnik.com/
I really don't believe in a god. Honestly, completely, sincerely.
No, I don't secretly believe, deep down.
No, I'm not just pretending that there isn't one so I can continue in my sinful ways (I wouldn't have bothered developing a complete, detailed ethical system if that were the case).
No, I don't call upon him in my moments of need.
No, nobody abused me and made me distrustful of people.
No, I don't have problems with authority. If I did, I'd be in jail, or at least without gainful employment.
I spent my college years studying comparative religion and philosophy, continuing into the graduate level. Even after my formal schooling ended 11 years ago, I continued to studying the subjects. I've looked at more arguments than most people will ever be aware of. I have found all of them--yes, every single one--grossly lacking, to the point where the lowest undergrad could have picked it apart, so I do not believe that a god exists.
Yet I hear the opposite all the time. Is there any way to make this any more crystal clear, any way to explain that I don't believe in the exact same way that a person might not believe in leprechauns or unicorns? From believers, is this really so baffling? Do you really think that, in a world in which monotheism was not the norm for most of the world throughout most of recorded history, you might have people who just don't believe in a god? From nonbelievers, have you found any approach to get it through the heads of some particularly thick-skulled individuals that it really is possible to not believe in a god?
Really, I don't see how this is so confusing, but I'm apparently missing something.
Health > Diseases & Conditions > Skin Conditions9 AnswersReligion & Spirituality7 years ago
So I received a message in my mail today from another user. I won't reveal who it came from--let's just say a well-known Christianity who forgot that his religion is supposed to have something to do with loving the sinner--but it contained a long hateful rant (which I responded to in private with him/her). I'm going to ignore most of it for the purposes of this post, but there was this gem,
"we all know you atheits [sic] believe in GOD!! you do! but you want to keep sining [sic]!"
I've heard that one before and it is always surprising to me, as I'm pretty sure that I'm the only one who actually knows what I think, but maybe I'm wrong. Maybe other people know what I believe in better than I do.
So, if you're confident that you know what I believe better than I do, could you tell me where you get that idea? What makes you so sure that I somehow agree with you, but ignore what I "know?" Also, if you're somehow able to tell what's in my heart of hearts, unknown even to me, how did you get the ability? Do you use it for any non-religious, practical purposes? Because every time I say that I don't believe in a god, I've always been sure that I've been very honest and very clear in my meaning.
So, let me get this straight. When it comes to science, it's alright and legitimate to use it to understand the structures of an atom, how viruses replicate, how an cuddlefish camouflages itself, how hurricanes form, etc. All of that stuff is good work, and we should incorporate such explorations into our understanding of the natural world.
But if we approach anything that the Bible specifically talks about, such as why organisms display such a diversity or where the stars came from, we abandon the scientific method, obey what the book says, and never devise a single falsifiable experiment to test whether or not it's correct.
Do I have that right? Because every time I look, I see plenty of experiments and tests done that could potentially falsify things like big bang cosmology and evolution, but I can not find a single experiment ever carried out when it comes to creationism. Could you reference some for me to check out? If not, is there some other reason why such experiments are never done?8 AnswersReligion & Spirituality7 years ago
Today, an appeals court handed down a verdict that secular workplaces must, in keeping with the Affordable Care Act, pay for access to birth control, even if the company owners are religious.
"The Majority thinks it important that corporations lack the anthropomorphic qualities of individual religious devotion–they do not pray, worship, observe sacraments or take other religiously motivated actions separate and apart from the intention and direction of their individual actors.‟
In other words, forcing a *company* to do something doesn't infringe on anybody's religion because companies themselves do not have a religion.
Regardless of your position on the AFA, this part should at least have been obvious. Why on earth did we need a court to figure this out?
I mean, that document is the supreme law of the land. That is the one document where any such intention would have been important to include. Yet, if you search through it, you find absolutely no mention that we're to be a nation founded on any religion. The closest you get is a clause explicitly stating that religious tests can never be used as a qualification for public office.
You'd think that, if the intent of these men, some of whom were, admittedly religious, was to create a nation built on specific religious beliefs, it would have been pointed out explicitly. Yet there's not even a whisper, not a single hint, in the one place where it would have mattered most. If you think this nation was made to be a Christian nation, then tell me: why would they have left that part out of such an important document?15 AnswersReligion & Spirituality7 years ago
Now explain to me again why we aren't going to let them marry each other in the meantime? I mean, it's no skin off of your back.
Are you against the right of infertile people to marry?
Corollary: Do you think any couples that have tried to conceive for years but have been unsuccessful due to fertility problems documented and certified by specialists should have their marriage terminated?12 AnswersReligion & Spirituality7 years ago
Take two adults of legal age who have given informed consent to share affection, live together, profess to care about each other deeply, and plan on spending the rest of their lives together.
Explain to me again why the *federal government* has any business discriminating between different couples who do this freely and voluntarily based on their sex organs?
If we're going to talk about families, remember that many heterosexual couples do not, or can not, have children, but we permit them the same benefits as any married couple.
If we're going to talk about the concept of sin, remember that the federal government is not a religious entity and does not make such judgments.3 AnswersReligion & Spirituality7 years ago
The Bible says that god cursed the snake (and it was a snake--look up what the Hebrew word "nahash" means) to do things like crawl on its belly and eat the dirt. But he didn't curse away its speech.
I've had my ball python for nearly a year. I've tried getting him to talk to me, to see what's on his mind and what I can do to make his life better. He has a nice terrarium, I feed him foods that he's always eager to take, he's never been sick, and I keep his terrarium clean and at the proper levels of heat and humidity, as measured by two thermometers and a hydrometer.
But he won't talk to me. How do I get him to talk? Also, if he does start to talk, should I take any dietary advice that he gives me? Or just ignore those parts?
And if the Bible wasn't really referring to a talking snake, then why did God curse the snakes? Was he taking his anger out on the wrong organism (and thus being unjust), or was he tricked into thinking it's really a snake (and thus not being omniscient)?
Think about it: a Christian nation, with the national religion enshrined in its constitution.
Now, I recognize that there are many "flavors" of Christianity. Assume for the purposes of this question that the religion of this nation is exactly how you understand your faith. If you're Catholic, assume a Catholic nation. If you think that it's a relationship rather than a religion, assume that that's what the new nation is all about.
Schools could only teach things in accord with the Bible. Prayer might be mandatory. Obviously, the religion/political body could make other rulings that are in accord with the Bible as you understand it. Members of other faiths, or those who lack faith, would be penalized, possibly to the point of expulsion. It would still be a nation in the world: a member of international groups, it would still have access to trade, and you can assume it has resources that make it valuable on the world market.
Would you want to live in a nation like that? Or would you rather live in a secular country where you're just as free to practice your religion as everybody else, but you can't advance your religious beliefs in the government's practices?14 AnswersReligion & Spirituality7 years ago
If I get hit hard enough in the head, I get knocked out. I know it, it's happened. Let this be a lesson about properly securing leaded glass light covers.
If I am given an anesthetic, I go unconscious. I've had it done to me.
But if consciousness is not a property of the physical brain, then why can we affect consciousness through purely physical processes? What are your thoughts on the matter?
Off topic, Yahoo recommended categories:
Family & Relationships > Marriage & Divorce
Politics & Government > Law & Ethics
When creationists, especially young earthers, come here, they try to bash mainstream, well-accepted scientific theories, but they discredit themselves by posing questions that demonstrate a clear lack of understanding of the theory. This is not true of all Theists; I recognize that many believe in these theories, and this question does not address them so much. I'm talking about the people who trash these theories, despite knowing full-well that they have never actually studied them to see if their criticisms are valid (and, in all the years I've been here, they never are; even a cursory understanding of the theory would reveal why). I have my more cynical ideas about why this is true, but for the sake of trying not to be too judgmental, I would like to hear their defense.
Why don't you learn what a theory says before passing judgment on it? Is there any harm in questioning what other creationists say and coming to your own conclusions? Even if you are certain they must be wrong because they make a literal reading of Genesis difficult (if not impossible), would there be anything bad about learning what the theory says in order to understand whether or not common criticisms have not already been addressed?
Again, I have my reasons for why this really happens (message me for details, or just look at some of my previous answers), but I want to hear your side of things. Why don't you first study the theories you criticize? Why don't you find out what the proponents really do say? Why not take the step that makes your argument at least credible?
I know a lot of people will simply say, "Yes, I do," or some derivation thereof, but please feel free to explain the difference. I think most people focus so much on the overlap that we all tend to forget that they are two different groups.
And honestly, this is a legitimate question. I can answer the question historically and academically much better than I can in terms of the modern world and in terms of practical, day-to-day differences.
Travel > Travel (General) > Other - Destinations
But you don't really care for music, do you?12 AnswersReligion & Spirituality9 years ago
How about the name "Jesus?" Anything about Bibles? Anything about spreading the word of God? Anything about Christianity at all? How about any Supreme Court case in which the majority opinion reflects these things through judicial review?
Go on, just cite the Article or Amendment and the appropritate section, or cite the case.8 AnswersReligion & Spirituality9 years ago
The Siberian traps is an ancient basaltic eruption, a giant series of volcanic explosions and lava flows that cover an area the size of Alaska. Basaltic flows are devestating in small scale, such as when they happen in Iceland. This was much more massive, so devestating and so long-lasting that it wiped out 90-95% of life on earth, even in the oceans. The landscape would've been a burning, boiling, exploding wasteland. Fortunately, the hot spots are no longer active today. They spent their energy millions of years ago.
Based on measuring radioactive metals and minerals brought to the surface and crystalized in the rock (i.e., providing us with exact ratios of radioactive products and their by-products in each individual crystal), geologists have measured this event to have occurred over the course of nearly 100 thousand years sometime around 260 million years ago, coinciding perfectly with a global massive, but slow, die-off in the fossil records that's usually referred to as the Permian-Triassic extinction.
My question is this: what do you make of this event? There is ample evidence, such as the geology of the Siberian traps, to indicate this ancient volcanism, but no record of these massive, worldwide die-offs in the entire human historic record (which makes sense if the events were over long before human beings existed). How do you account for the geological evidence? Obviously this wasn't a single flood if took 100,000 years for the die-off to occur, nor does the geology suggest water, but instead suggests fire, molten explosions that likes of which mankind has fortunately never had to deal with.
Just a curiosity of mine. Thanks for your time.9 AnswersReligion & Spirituality9 years ago
By "basic," I'm referring mostly to front kicks, side kicks, and back kicks. Punches can be any type (jabs, front knuckle, back knuckle, crosses, uppercuts, etc.).
Obviously, the very notion of "average build" is vague, but my point is that I'm not talking about, say, professional boxers or MMA competitors or anybody else professionally involved in an atheletic competition. I'm looking for a range that most healthy adults could be reasonably expected to fall within.
Please provide a reference with the answer if you have one. Thanks!2 AnswersMartial Arts9 years ago
This is directed towards people who accept evolution, but also believe that the creation story laid out in Genesis 1 is true at least to some extent, even if only allegorically.
Birds are created on the fifth day (Genesis 1:20-1:22), and then the day ends (1:23).
Land animals then come about on the sixth day (1:24-1:25).
However, all the evidence to date indicates that the first birds evolved around 160 million years ago, well after the appearance of land animals. Even flying non-bird animals, such as pterosaurs (~220 MYA) and flying insects (~250 MYA), appear well after the apperance of land animals. Because most internet creation sites seem to be based strictly on a literal interpretation of Genesis, I can't find a theistic evolution response to this ordering discrepancy.
Could you shed some light as to how you personally account for this?
Just so we're clear, a simple true or false question:
If something continues to be measurably and observable larger as time moves forward, we know that, in the past, it must have been smaller.15 AnswersReligion & Spirituality9 years ago
I see the word tossed around a lot, and it seems to be synonymous with "orthodoxy," "close-minded," or "evangelical Christianity," none of which are actually true.
Do you know what the word means in a religious context? I'm not talking just about Christian fundamentalism but, rather, what the concept implies. I await the answers both from (a) people who post their weird ideas; (b) people who copy/paste from wikipedia or some other sources; and (c) people who post something that's funny that may or may not have anything to do with the question.